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Internship report: report of a three month internship at the Centre for Design at the RMIT University in Melbourne, as part of the master program mechanical engineering (15 EC)

Hoorn, H-J. van den (2012) Internship report: report of a three month internship at the Centre for Design at the RMIT University in Melbourne, as part of the master program mechanical engineering (15 EC).

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Abstract:This report describes the work conducted during a three month internship at the Centre for Design at the RMIT University. This internship is part of the master’s curriculum of mechanical engineering. An Excel tool has been developed to modify the SimaPro database using the COM interface. Using this tool, it takes less than half an hour to substitute all electricity processes and associated uncertainty parameters in an ecoinvent 2.2 database containing about 4000 products. A MATLAB LCA tool has been developed which can perform LCA analysis and Monte Carlo simulations. The tool is compatible with the ecoinvent 2.2 database and can import several impact assessment methods. Performance of the tool is more than 100 times faster than SimaPro. Because of its efficiency, the tool can quickly calculate the coefficient of variation per impact category for all the products in an ecoinvent 2.2 database. It would take about 2-3 days calculation time, whereas it would take about one year to calculate the same results in SimaPro. The coefficient of variation could be useful to incorporate uncertainty in streamlined life cycle assessment tools. How this could be useful presented to the user needs to be further investigated. Using generic geographical processes in a LCI database affects the uncertainty and reliability of a life cycle assessment. The coefficient of variation for carbon dioxide emissions for a product can almost double when switching between geographical electricity grids. Some minor projects conducted are also described in this report. This includes development work on Greenfly. This is an online streamlined life cycle assessment tool to design environmentally improved products. It needs to be further developed before it can be released as a final version Land use change values for carbon stocks are calculated for the countries China, Europe, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. The procedure for calculating these numbers has to be validated. Another minor project was about exploring the capabilities and limitations of openLCA software. openLCA is compatible with the ecoinvent database and all features work well. The calculations are however quite time consuming compared to SimaPro and the software is not very responsive. openLCA is not compatible with the Australasian LCI database.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63927
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